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Summer Birding | Santa Margarita Lake, CA

Habitats: lake, riparian scrub, grassland, woodland.

Once settled at our campground, we went on a short walk toward the lake and chose to hike up a knoll to admire stunning views of this tranquil lake located in the Santa Margarita Valley. Swipe to see the harbor from the same knoll.

Violet-green Swallow.

We walked down to the lakeshore and noticed this Canada Goose family in the distance.

Adults were keeping an eye on their goslings.

The family lingered on the shore then went back in the lake.

A pair of Clark's Grebe was also near the shore.

Getting closer...

...and closer, swipe for the action shots.

Near our camp, California Quails were out foraging and enjoying the afternoon sun.

In the morning, we drove to the Blinn Ranch Trailhead and hiked towards the lake.

A confused California Scrub-Jay fledgling at the trailhead parking lot.

Partially shaded trail.

Ash-throated Flycatcher.

Female Bushtit.

Riparian habitat along the Salinas river upstream from Santa Margarita Lake.

Wild Turkey preening.

We spotted two Loggerhead Shrike on trees surrounding the grassland area.

Walking on the trail in full sun.

We kept an eye out for snakes.

At last, we are in view of the lake.


We returned to our camp for lunch and hiked the Rocky Trail by the lake later in the afternoon.

California Thrasher.

Campground in the distance.

Several pairs of Western Grebes were busy building floating nests.

A lonely Ruddy Duck.

More nest building activities.

Male Western Bluebird.

Male Brown-headed Cowbird.

Adult Bald Eagle centered in the photo.


Credits and Additional Information

Western and Clark's Grebes both nest on tranquil Santa Margarita Lake.




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